The most common aspect of a monster movie is the struggle between a human collective of protagonists against one or more monsters, who serve as the antagonistic force.
The monster is created by a folly of mankind - an experiment gone wrong, the effects of radiation or the destruction of habitat. Or usually the monster is from outer space, has been on Earth for a long time with no one ever seeing it, or released (or awakened) from a prison of some sort where is was being held.
The monster is usually a villain, but can be a metaphor of humankind's continuous destruction - giant monsters since the introduction of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms have for a time been considered a symbol of atomic warfare, for instance. On the contrary, Godzilla began in this fashion yet as time moved on his reputation quickly grew into that of a cultural icon to the Japanese, as much as Superman is a cultural symbol to America.
The attempts of the humans to destroy the monster would at first be the usage of an opposing military force - an attempt that would antagonize the monster even more and prove useless (a cliché associated with the genre). The Godzilla series utilized the concept of a superweapon built by Japanese scientists to suppress him or any of the monsters he fights.
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